A landmark move by the Maharashtra state government is the exemption granted to retailers from weekly closure. Presently, stores are allowed to operate only six days a week as per the Shops and Establishment Act.
Now, with the new rule, the statutory requirements laid down by the government, include giving employees a weekly off and restricting work hours to 9 hours a day and no more than 48 hours a week.
"The exemption from weekly closure will go a long way in helping brick-and-mortar retailers in Maharashtra achieve their true potential. It is also good for the consumers as they now have the convenience of shopping all days of the year," said Retailers Association of India CEO, Kumar Rajagopalan.
Retailers Association chairman BS Nagesh, who is also founder of TRRAIN, said, "We really thank the chief minister and the team for recognising the importance of retail trade and its potential contribution towards consumption, growth and development. The decision to allow stores to stay open 365 days will not only increase consumption but also increase customer satisfaction."
Nagesh thinks the new notification will aid in employment generation. Also, retail businesses will get a boost feel the experts.
"We are delighted at the positive step taken by the government of Maharashtra to allow retailers to keep their stores open for 365 days. We at RAI are working very closely with the Maharashtra government on various issues connected with the retail industry and have always received a very positive response at every occasion," said Jamshed S Daboo, managing director of Trent Hypermarket Ltd.
Praising the decision, Rakesh Biyani, Joint MD, Future Retail Ltd, said, "We thank the government of Maharashtra for considering the demands of the retail business in today's connected world. Keeping the stores open all days of the week will add to the convenience factor of consumers, and drive consumption, which is good for the economy."
This notification comes as a landmark decision as it amends criteria for traders laid down 80 years back. Now, the retailers can step up their pace to match with the changing business dynamics.